Leaping Faith

My husband teases me for keeping a red pen near when I read novels. Yes, sometimes that crimson friend is for marking missed errors that will be compiled into an email to the editor. More often, however, that pen is for noting things of significance. Good fiction can cut right to the heart more efficiently and in a more memorable way than most nonfiction. Those are the lines that I mark. Those are the paragraphs I want to remember.

pearl in the sandI recently read a novel by Tessa Afshar. A sweet friend recommended it to me. I’m so glad she did.

Pearl in the Sand (Moody Publishers, September 2010), a fictionalized account of Rahab from the Bible, is filled with multi-faceted characters and profound truths about God and faith. There are many parts I found absolutely fascinating, sections that challenged me to look deeper into the Scriptural account. Other chapters urged me to evaluate my faith and commitment to God. It is one such scene that I want to share with you today.

The parting of the Jordan River is so often overlooked. It’s not as big as the Red Sea and, well, we’d already seen God part water, so what’s the big deal? It’s a big deal! Yes, God had parted water for the escaping Hebrew slaves, but this was a new miracle for a new generation. All those who had witnessed the Red Sea miracle had died in the wilderness (save for Caleb and Joshua). This miracle, the parting of the Jordan during flood season, was for their children. Now they could see the power of God personally. Tangibly. They could own it for themselves rather than simply hope in the stories of their ancestors.

Here is a portion of dialog between two of Afshar’s characters just before God separated the waters.

“Be strong, my courageous friends. You are about to witness a miracle like our fathers and mothers experienced during their escape from Egypt. God appears to have a particular purpose for choosing such an unlikely season for our crossing. He wants to teach us about His power and glory.” Salmone didn’t say that he believed God wanted this younger generation to have a first-hand experience that would prepare them for the hardships of conquest. He wanted to part the waters in order that He might part their hearts and make sufficient room for Himself.

Hanani scrunched his nose. “It would be easier if God’s lessons about His greatness didn’t include so much risk to our necks. I mean, walking into the middle of a raging river isn’t exactly normal behavior, is it?”

Salmone chewed on his lower lip in an effort not to smile. “I suppose we are incapable of truly learning to trust God without paying a cost. To see these waters part, we must be willing to step into them.”

When was the last time you stretched your faith by walking into a raging river? Have you ever taken a true leap of faith?

Yes, life would be easier if God required no risks of us, but what would we learn then? We would rest in full dependence upon ourselves. That’s hardly faith.

Faith is built at a cost, but the cost is not in vain. Nor is it without cause or reason. We know the God who asks us to leap and we know that the rewards He promises are tremendous, their value immeasurable.

I want to see the waters part.

As such, I pray for the courage needed to leap.

*****

This post is part of a ChristianWriters blog chain. See what other writers have posted about leaps by following the chain in the right sidebar. There is a new post for every day in the month of February.

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